Hanhmitakuyapi / Hello my relatives. Long time no hear! I couldn't get a posting on here no matter what I did, until I shotgunned an email to FastCompany & someone replied. The contact form hadn't worked, I couldn't get any email I had to work.. but nothing is more essential to success than insistence.. That means I kept tthinking of email addresses to try until something got a response. And here we are.
You've heard much about the economic downturn. My total income for 2008 was $9000. As exactly as I can figure. And my total income for 2009 appears to be $9100 - $9200, including gifts. While surviving at all on such a small gross in proves beyond any doubt the power of prayer, and because I "walk with a Holy Pipe", my life is about prayer.. I can think of many ways to prove the power of prayer that aren't so very close to my bones. The Spirits have apparently disagreed, & they supposedly know best, but that doesn't mean I don't continue to badger them about this. (Yes, I'm careful what I ask for & how I phrase it..)
Be that as it may, here I am.. and dollar by dollar, I have dragged my new/old product to within $200 of being on the Internet. I've been unemployed since March 7, 2009 & temp work has been almost nil all year. I never get Unemployment Compensation - the boneheads invariably tell me I don't qualify, for whatever excuse is current this time. I don't ask for any kind of welfare - I believe I'm far too talented, far too bright, far too creative to go on the dole. Not to mention, way too proud of my accomplishments. Gifts are always welcome; welfare is not.
Besides, the strings attached to welfare are about the size of the hawsers used to tie ocean liners to wharves. I have as close to no use for social workers as can be had.. I have never been one to ask "captain, may I?" and I'm not able to look anyone in the eye & say "I did this" if I go on welfare. Someone else might be able to, but I cannot. I believe welfare eats personal pride. And it certainly does everything it can to destroy initiative!
I've often said I must've been a salmon in a previous life - I spend a lot of time swimming upstream. On the other hand, mountain climbing of any kind has tremendous rewards. I don't climb rock mountains; I climb more cerebral ones. Or maybe they're more-parallel-universe ones. Whatever. I think it's irrelevant. The whole exercise is about overcoming challenges, when we get down to the core of things, & doing Something Useful in the process.
Since the product relieves pain & muscle spasms, that's pretty useful. With luck, it will add to the general store of knowledge about pain & non-toxic ways to relieve it.
So anyway - I have worked the bugs out of the production process; taken money that some will say 'should' have gone to pay bills & bought tools to build the production line; worked on the advertising orientation & copy; & learned all I have been able to about doing business online. Such things as "what competition exists"; "what kind of competition exists"; "what else can I do to accomplish my goal" & so on. I've revised the copyrighted material with updated pictures & copy (bless digital cameras!). Lived in 1 room like some kind of camper because that's the cheapest way to heat. (Don't live on pasta & other non-foods. I eat real food. Love the slow-cooker..)
As someone who has spent time on SBA's SCORE team, I have taken some heat from other people in business who believe I can't do what I'm doing. But my Grandmother Pearl taught me, "My girl, you can have anything you want, if you want it more than you want your next breath." That was when she was trying to motivate me to recover from a head injury & subsequent stroke after a MC doctor gave me a wrong medication. I was about 19. She should have known - she had polio when she was 6 & was told she'd never walk again. She walked. She ran. She danced. On legs whose calves were the size of my forearms. There's a huge difference between 'wanting' something & "wanting" something.
Besides, I figure if the Spirits haven't gotten me a job, but they have gotten me a fair number of orders for custom mocassins, that's their way of telling me they want me to succeed in business. So obviously, I should listen. Which I have done & continue to do.
I'd love to have some feedback from anyone who reads my blog.. But regardless, I'll keep you posted. Mitakuye oiasin / All, my relatives.